AW18 #QBlogger Challenge at Queensgate Shopping Centre

A few years ago Queensgate shopping centre in Peterborough invited a handful of bloggers from the area to become #Qbloggers. I always look forward to our catch ups as they tend to involve lots of food, plenty of blog talk and tip sharing, as well as a few surprises.

AW18 #QBlogger Challenge at Queensgate Shopping Centre

This season we were invited to a gathering at Carluccio’s Restaurant to participate in a secretive shopping challenge. Before we found out what it was, we tucked into delicious canapes (vegan friendly – yay for me!) and got the low down on what’s coming up at Queensgate over the coming months.

New At Queensgate for AW18

Firstly, The White Company are hosting a pop up in Queensgate until Christmas. YES QUEENSGATE! It’s handy shopping online when you know what you want, but there is a special kind of joy to be had from sniffing every single one of their glorious scents in store.

AW18 #QBlogger Challenge at Queensgate Shopping Centre

Secondly, this coming Saturday the 17th November is the centre’s Festive Fiesta. The action starts at 10.30am and promises fun surprises and entertainment for shoppers throughout the day. I couldn’t tease any more details out of them but I’ve been told that they’ve gone big this year. Really big. Check out my Instagram stories on Saturday, I’m heading into the centre to find out for myself.

The AW18 #Qblogger Challenge

AW18 #QBlogger Challenge at Queensgate Shopping Centre

During the meal we were invited to open personalised envelopes containing our AW18 #Qblogger challenge. Mine revealed three stores handpicked to suit my individual style. The challenge was to visit them all and pick out my five favourite items for the Autumn/Winter season. To help me, I was given a £25 Queensgate gift card* to put towards my top pick which could be used at any retailer at the centre.

When I read out my three stores to visit everyone around the table said “Oh they are SO you Laura!” I’d been given Joules, John Lewis and Oasis. I couldn’t have chosen better myself. Here’s how I got on:

Joules

I tend to buy from Joules when I want something that’s high quality that I’ll get a lot of wear out of. They are especially good for cosy scarves, tailored coats and cute as a button wellies.

I fell in love with this plum coloured jacket which I thought would be a perfect addition to my capsule wardrobe.

AW18 #QBlogger Challenge at Queensgate Shopping Centre

I really can’t stand being cold and find jackets a good solution as they can be slipped on and off as needed. It would work well with a shift dress for the office and then paired with jeans and a teeshirt for a more casual vibe.

Then I spotted a perfect Christmas present idea: the Wensley Scarf in the ‘Dogs In Leaves’ print.

AW18 #QBlogger Challenge at Queensgate Shopping Centre

Since it’s got lots of different breeds on it I could think of several of my dog loving friends that would go gaga over it. That’s at least one present ticked off my Christmas list…

John Lewis

John Lewis is where I head when I need something for party season and they delivered for the AW18 #Qblogger challenge. This shimmering sequinned gold dress from French Collection caught my attention above all others.

Not only does it look fabulous, but owing to its flattering tunic cut it would also allow room for that inevitable festive food baby. SOLD.

Oasis

Finally, I arrived at Oasis which has fast become one of my favourite clothing brands. I find the cut of their clothes and the patterns and the fabrics used some of the most flattering on the high street.

This season I’m picking up a strong ‘Cher from Clueless’ vibe from their collection, in particular this preppy checked skirt.

AW18 #QBlogger Challenge at Queensgate Shopping Centre

I think it would work just as well teamed with a cosy cable knit jumper as it would paired with something more tailored.

I also spotted this navy striped tee.

AW18 #QBlogger Challenge at Queensgate Shopping Centre

The fabric keeps it casual and comfortable but the addition of rose gold stars gives it a festive twist. It’s my pick to wear on Christmas day.

So that’s my ‘fab five’ from the retailers at Queensgate shopping centre for AW18. What do you think? And what’s caught your eye recently?

LovedByLaura

As a side note, sadly the Peterborough Carluccio’s closed down just after our visit. It’s a real shame as they had some delicious vegan friendly dishes. With the benefit of hindsight I wish I had visited more often; sometimes you don’t appreciate these things until they’re gone.

*This post is a collaboration with Queensgate. I received a £25 gift card as thanks for taking part in the AW18 #Qblogger challenge.

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Lush Peterborough Beauty Favourites

Last month I blogged about my trip to the Lush Peterborough store and promised a post on my  Lush haul. (Oh god I just called my shopping a ‘haul’ – what have I become?!)

Let’s dive straight into the Lush hair, beauty and skincare favourites that I’m loving!

Feeling Younger Skin Tint | Link

Lush Hair Beauty and Skincare Favourites

Until now I haven’t used a highlighter everyday but there’s something about how easy this is to use that has me reaching for it most mornings. It’s an oatmeal decoction with orange flower water and you apply it with your fingertips to brighten the skin. 3 or 4 tiny dots are all I need on each cheekbone. It’s a cool, opalescent shade which I find works well with my pale skin.

Lush Hair Beauty and Skincare Favourites

It can look quite harsh when you first apply it but with a bit of blending it transforms into a glowy sheen as you can see from the swatch below.

Lush Peterborough Beauty Favourites

Sea Spray | Link

I added this to my wishlist after trying it out a few months back at another event and couldn’t resist picking up a bottle when I was last in the store. Firstly it has the fresh salty smell of the seaside which reminds me of past holidays every time I spritz it. Secondly it’s the first styling product that I’ve found which tames the flyaway strands of hair that I get from using straighteners, without flattening my hair.

Lush Peterborough Beauty Favourites

A little trick I’ve learned is to spray it onto my fingertips instead of my hair. I then rub my hands together to distribute the product evenly and lightly rub it onto the flyaway strands without applying any pressure, encouraging the stragglers into place.

It’s got a light hold so I also use it for locking in a wavy bounce to the lengths of my hair. I spritz it lightly onto my curls and then muss them up a bit to add texture and boost the volume.

Seanik Shampoo Bar* | Link

I love the Lush shampoo bars because they are really kind to my sensitive scalp and perfect for popping in my makeup bag when I’m travelling since they’re so compact. To use them you just rub the bar onto wet hair as if using a soap. They lather up a treat.

Lush Peterborough Beauty Favourites

The only thing that I don’t like about the bars is that they are full of ‘bits’ so you have to make sure that you rinse your hair thoroughly and also your shower or bath. However this is because they are made from natural ingredients so I can live with it!

The lovely Lush staff gave me a hair consultation and matched me to Seanik because it’s great for keeping volume in the hair since it’s so light. I’ve been alternating between this and my moisture rich shampoo, which I’m finding to be a great little combination to keep my hair light but in good glossy condition.

Popcorn Lip Scrub | Link

I have to confess to buying this solely because it smelled so delicious. Then after using it for the first time I found out that it tastes amazing too. It genuinely has the flavour of soft, buttery sweet popcorn!

Lush Peterborough Beauty Favourites

Don’t pick up a spoon and eat it of course, apply some of the scrub to your finger then rub it gently over your lips to slough away any flaky bits. Once you’ve rinsed the granules away you’ll be left with buffed, kissable smackers!

Lush Peterborough Beauty Favourites

Catastrophe Cosmetic Face Mask* | Link

Because Lush facemasks are natural you need to keep them in the fridge and use them within a week, so after taking this home my skin got the all star treatment for the next 3 days!

Lush Peterborough Beauty Favourites

The mask dries after about 10 minutes and can get a bit flaky if you leave it on too long so it’s worth bearing that in mind if you’re the type to wander around the house in your towel like me. However the weather was quite muggy so I found this a really soothing treat for my skin after my morning run. I highly recommend it as a pampering treat to help you unwind and destress.

…oh and did I mention it smells like Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia? Yep it’s ANOTHER Lush product that I have to constantly remind myself not to try eating!

Have you tried any of my Lush hair, beauty and skincare favourites? What are your favourite Lush products?

LovedByLaura

*Items marked with an asterisk were kindly gifted to me to try out at home. The rest are the result of me not being able to resist a cheeky spending spree! Views on all products are my own and I wouldn’t recommend them on here if I hadn’t personally given them the Loved By Laura seal of approval.

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